Rouge Tomate has been a constant on the Brussels foodie scene for some time now. Located on the busy Ave. Louise, Rouge Tomate brings a dash of US style dining to Brussels. Curious? Read on.
The Story So Far
Way back when, I have been to a couple of business dinners hosted in Rouge Tomate … but more recently we got the chance to try Alex Joseph’s cuisine for pleasure. Hailing from California, the chef joined Rouge Tomate in 2009 and has been taking the restaurant to dine dining heights since.
The restaurant is what I can imagine fine dining restaurants look like on the East Coast – a certain classy stiffness, yet relaxed and welcoming. Plus in all honesty, the best restaurant terrace in Brussels. Sort of where you’d go to eat to impress your clients. And keeping true wit this impression, on our Friday lunch date we were surrounded by a lot of business lunches. Nothing wrong with that.
You will notice a trend here … yes, there are a few business lunch offers – the dish (24e), the lunch (35e) and the menu (44e). We opted for a mix a la carte and ordered as starters crab meat, with an avocado mousse, and a tempura of crab and an octopus and citrus fruits salad respectively. Both dishes were delicious (with the crab/avocado mix a real hit!) but a tweak here and there would have made them perfect. Mains were a bit hit and miss – I found my Iberico porc was trying too hard to be too many things at once … however my husbands shrimp gnocchi was delicious. Desserts also bordered on greatness but my soup of salted caramel, popcorn, banana, brownies and sorbet of buttermilk was 1 or 2 ingredients too much although the single elements were all delicious. The chocolate gold bar though was pure heaven.
Service with a smile
Service was prompt and … yes … business like. We were explained the dishes, and served on time for a busy lunch time service. All aspects I very much appreciate when I have to eat out for work – food is on time and service is correct.
Difficult to say. We enjoyed our lunch and having tasted chef Alex Joseph’s cuisine on several occasions, I know his food is cosmopolitan and innovative. Our readers, on Instagram and Facebook, shared similar views. Rouge Tomate is aiming high but, and this is subjectively based on our lunch, there is still a bit to go from ‘good’ to ‘wow’. Maybe we just need to go back and give Rouge Tomate a second chance. Because my gut feeling is this restaurant will one day move up from being business-lunch-good to simply fantastic.
Have you been? What are your impressions of Rouge Tomate?
I would like to extend our thanks to Rouge Tomate for inviting us to review their restaurant and organizing this lunch meal and to their staff for hosting us and dealing with our endless questions and cameras with grace.
Disclaimer: as always, all opinions written are our own.
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